Minister of Waters and Forests Ioan Deneș hosted and co-chaired, on May 21, in the Palace of Parliament, together with the Deputy Prime – Minister, Minister of Environment, Grațiela Leocadia Gavrilescu the second day of the the Informal Meeting of Ministers for Environment.
The event, organized the context of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, brought together ministers of environment from the EU Member States, EFTA states and candidate states for accession to the EU, and also the European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, representatives of the General Secretariat of the Council, executive director of European Environment Agency and General Secretary of European Environmental Bureau.
Minister of Waters and Forests Ioan Deneș chaired the Working session III – Water management – control of water pollution with plastic/microplastic from rivers to seas.
Statistics data show that around 25.8 million tons of plastic waste are generated in Europe every year, of which only 30% is collected for recycling. So, it is clear that “the way plastics are currently produced, used and discarded fails to capture the economic benefits of a more ‘circular’ approach and harms the environment. There is an urgent need to tackle the environmental problems that today cast a long shadow over the production, use and consumption of plastics” (Commission Communication, 2018). The million tons of plastic litter that go into the freshwater and marine ecosystems threaten their biodiversity and the services provided by them for the socio-economic system.
”I chose this topic for debate because the plastic and microplastic waste represents a challenge of this century and the main source is the dry land from where they are transported by the rivers in the seas and oceans. Joint efforts of all the actors involved and a better cooperation between producers, recyclers, traders, consumers and decision-makers will reduce the environmental damage generated to the aquatic environment of the rivers and the marine environment and, also, will reduce the economic damage to coastal communities, tourism, and fishing”, stressed Ioan Deneș.
During the closing remarks, the Minister of Waters and Forests underlined the necessity to identify actions and measures to be taken additionaly at national and european level, in the context of circular economy. The research activities in this area will allow the identification of the inovative measures witch, on a long term, will improve the condition of all waters.
”As some colleagues have pointed out in their interventions, raising public awareness is essential for controlling water pollution with plastics/microplastics and an continuous monitoring will make us consider the regional and socio-economic specificities. On the other hand, disseminating good practice examples on coordination between the authorities responsible for waste management and those responsible for water management will help us all to find new solutions and measures to achieve a good state of water in the shortest time”, concluded minister Ioan Deneș
Informal Meeting of Ministers for Environment from the EU Member States was concluded with a press conference with the participation of the Minister of Waters and Forests, Ioan Deneș, togheter with the Deputy Prime – Minister, Minister of Environment, Grațiela Leocadia Gavrilescu and the European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella.